Burroughs Girls Water Polo Finishes Strong Against Muir

The Bears outscored the Mustangs 7-5 in the second half and prevailed 8-7 as Ava Tomlinson tallied four of her five game-best goals.

The Burroughs girls' water polo team is getting instructions from coaches Jacob Cook and Martin Ortega Jennison in a match versus Muir. (Photo by Rick Assad)

By Rick Assad

A defensive battle ensued over the first two quarters between Burroughs High and visiting Muir in a girls’ water polo match, and then a scoring barrage followed and when it was over the Bears tallied seven second-half goals and claimed an 8-7 win on Tuesday afternoon.

The Pacific League game was tied at 7-7 when Burroughs’ Sarah Metry scored from 12 yards with 3:24 left and the match-winner came from Derrika Berenguer with 2:18 remaining as the Bears pulled in front by one goal.

“We struggled with shooting today,” Burroughs co-coach Martin Ortega Jennison said of his team that is 6-8 and 3-2 in league. “So, it was just getting them confident enough to keep taking the opportunities they were given and eventually they would start going in.”

Ortega Jennison continued his thought: “It was about trying to stay composed and remembering our fundamentals,” he said.

The match was swayed in favor of the Bears during the third period as Ava Tomlinson scored three of her game-best five goals.

Muir’s Isabella Leyva kept the affair close as she tallied three goals that included two in the fourth period.

Tomlinson’s 14-yarder with 5:51 remaining in the third stanza cut the Mustangs’ lead to 3-2 and teammate Ana Zubkoff’s 15-yarder seventeen seconds later evened it at 3-3.

Tomlinson erupted with two of the next three goals and they included a 10-yarder with 4:36 left as the Bears took a 4-3 advantage.

Tomlinson added a five-meter penalty toss with 1:51 left for a 5-4 edge in favor of the Bears.

After a slow start, the Bears powered through the second half and won 8-7 over the Mustangs behind Ava Tomlinson’s match-high five goals. (Photo by Rick Assad)

With 2:06 showing in the same period, Leyva knocked in a 14-yarder that tied the match 4-4. 

“I think we started rushing our passes and it led to critical errors,” Muir coach Micol Issa noted of her team that is 16-3 and 3-1 in league. “We also got one too many ejections in this game that really hurt us, especially with our small team.”

Tomlinson’s seven-yard throw and 6:46 remaining in the fourth period extended the lead to 6-4 but the Mustangs scored the next three goals.

It began when Leyva nailed a 23-yard rainbow with 6:15 left that shaved the cushion to 6-5.

Jaeda Reed’s five-yarder evened it at 6-6 and Leyva’s nine-yard arrow with 4:51 gave Muir a 7-6 lead.

The third frame began when Maya Mihalko scored for the Mustangs as 6:15 remained as Muir led 3-1.

After a scoreless first period, Mihalko nailed a 12-yarder with 5:01 remaining on the clock in the second quarter for a 1-0 lead, but Tomlinson leveled it at 1-1 on a seven-yard tally with 2:38 left.

Annaliese Ruiz’s 12-yarder and 1:29 remaining in the frame saw the Mustangs race to a 2-1 advantage.

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